Fantasy Reaction: Louis Delmas Re-Signs With Detroit
Louis Delmas is staying with the team that drafted him, inking a two-year deal worth close to $9.5 million. Delmas found few suitors for his services this offseason, visiting a handful of teams (St. Louis and San Francisco to name a few).
The Lions selected Delmas in the second round and hoped he’d be a centerpiece of their defense because of his high motor and intensity. Few expected the type of production right away from a real football and IDP standpoint. Delmas appeared in 15 games and 954 defensive snaps (93 percent of the team’s total defensive snaps) and finished with 94 tackles (65 solos). The tackles could’ve been more, as he also missed 13 tackles. He also added the splash plays, including a sack, two interceptions and eight defended passes, resulting in him making a play on 28.6 percent of the balls thrown into his coverage.
He showed his strength as a run-stopping safety. Even though he only graded at a +2.2 in run defense, he was among the top safeties in run-stop percentage, ranking 10th, plus he provided nine defensive stops near the line of scrimmage. His play overall earned him a +5.0 grade and his future looked bright.
In 2010, Delmas’ production decrease slightly, compiling 84 tackles in 15 games and 940 defensive snaps. He proved dependable once again, appearing in just under 93 percent of the defensive snaps. His tackle frequency slid slightly to 8.9 percent, and he didn’t make the plays around the ball as much as his rookie year. Once again, run defense was his strength as he ranked among the top 20 safeties in run-stop percentage, including eight stops near the line of scrimmage. His solid run defense play resulted in grading at a +2.1 and still managed to produce a positive overall grade of +3.3. His play looked good on the field and could project future success. Unfortunately, you cannot predict injury.
After appearing in 30 games between his first two seasons, he would appear in just 19 games the next two seasons. In 2011, it looked like Delmas was on pace for DB1 numbers, producing 51 tackles (36 solos) in 684 snaps and had seven games of five or more tackles. During this season, he also improved his pass coverage, allowing just 15 catches on 28 targets, grading among the top 10 safeties at a +6.7 grade. However, a knee injury would cause him to miss the final four games of the regular season.
Knee issues and surgery caused Delmas to miss the first four games of 2012. He would only appear in eight games and 449 defensive snaps, compiling just 38 tackles. He wasn’t anything more than a matchup play as he was a feature player on Detroit’s injury report, so not someone you could depend on. So, heading into the 2013 season, what are his chances for IDP success?
Delmas’ propensity for injury has really caused his IDP stock to fall over the last two seasons. In addition to missing 13 games between 2011-2012, his missed tackles are an issue. Since his rookie year, he’s missed a total of 42 tackles, which has resulted in a miss in every seven attempts.
Delmas has passed his physicals, and his knees appear healthy leading into the 2013 season. He’s a big hitter and has all the talent in the world to be one of the top safeties with his play against the run. His injuries have him on track to be the next Bob Sanders, however. With that said, his talent shouldn’t be overlooked and he can be had on the cheap in IDP drafts. I would target him as a late round DB3/4 that has the upside to produce DB2 numbers, granted (yup, has to be a qualifier), as long as he stays healthy.
Mike Woellert is a Senior Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow Mike on Twitter @PFF_MWoellert